25 farms worth R390m returned to the State

2016-11-03 18:35
Farm. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Farm. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Twenty-five farms have been returned to the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development following investigations into alleged corruption during their repatriation.

Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, NPA head Shaun Abrahams and Special Investigations Unit (SIU) head Jan Lekhoa Mothibi held a joint press conference in Parliament on Thursday on the matter.

Abrahams said the NPA received allegations, starting in March 2009, that the transfer of these farms to the public involved collusion by department officials, farm owners, attorneys and real estate agents.

The farms had been earmarked for redistribution to rural communities as mandated by the Land Reform Act.

All in all, 29 preservation orders were obtained for farms valued at a combined R463m, following investigations by the SIU and the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Abrahams said.

Of those, twenty-five farms have been formally confiscated, the most expensive being Boschhoek Farm in KwaZulu-Natal, worth R49m.

The seizure of the other four, worth approximately R73m combined, is still being completed. 

The allegations included:

- that farms were sold and transferred to individuals and entities who were not eligible;

- that beneficiaries were excluded in favour of family members of department officials;

- and that department officials colluded with farm owners to remain de facto owners of the land;

- Complaints also said that several farms had been stripped of assets.

The farms were situated in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Six more farms are awaiting the finalization of their preservation orders.

A further 34 farms are still waiting to be investigated, which could total an additional R400m.

Criminal cases

Nkwinti said the department will now redistribute the land before the end of the year to eligible beneficiaries who have registered.

"We know exactly who deserves to get this land and these farms back," he said. "We will go there ourselves and give those households a land rights certificate."

The department wants to avoid the situation of people "just walking in there" without title deeds, he added.

The SIU was granted a special proclamation by President Jacob Zuma to investigate the claims in February 2011.

The scope of their investigations would cover transactions starting from January 1 2006, SIU head Mothibi said.

Twelve criminal cases are currently being heard by the courts, out of a total 58 referrals by the SIU.

The other cases are all civil cases, and won't involve prosecutions.

The department saved R15m over the last year as a result.


Read more on:    npa  |  siu  |  land  |  corruption

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.